After attending the Inaugural Medicinal Cannabis Symposium in Tamworth I realised many things. The most obvious – I had previously been misinformed.
Since the age of thirteen I was told that Cannabis was a brain damaging drug with the potential to break apart families and ruin lives.
Never once was I told about cannabis’ neuro-protective effects or how cannabis oil is saving children from a slow eventual death caused by epilepsy.
Never once was I told that cannabis can force almost all major cancers into regression and remove the ‘terminal’ from ‘terminally ill’.
Here, in this article, I will explain what I learnt at the Symposium. I will tell you what I was told. I will provide you with the evidence I was shown. I urge you to read the piece through, to go and investigate for yourself.
I met a multiplicity of people – politicians, scientists, researchers, doctors, industry representatives, patients, carer and advocates – already solid in their conviction that cannabis is a life changing medicine.
NSW Premier Mike Baird’s opened the Symposium with a statement of support for the various medicinal cannabis Greens and Nationals Bills that have recently gone before NSW parliament. Clinical trails will take place for people suffering from terminal illnesses and “others who may be impacted”, Premier Baird said.
In response to the very real concerns of people already treating their loved ones with cannabis medication the Premier explained that NSW police will be issued formal digression when faced with charging a person, or carer, in possession of medicinal cannabis.
When the topic was breached at the latest Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting every State and Territory said they would enact the NSW bill if it is passed early next year. This commitment must be honoured by our States and Territories so that confusion and accidental criminal activities can be avoided.
Mrs Lucy Haslam, the women pioneering the push for medicinal cannabis legalisation in NSW, hails from Tamworth and is mother to Dan Haslam. Dan needs cannabis to stop the pain and nausea caused by the chemotherapy he is receiving to treat his cancer. Lucy and husband Lou bravely made public their sons use of cannabis as a step towards changing current law so that others need not take legal risks to help their loved ones.
The symposium was hosted by Seven Networks op Journalist Helen Kapalos who conducted a poll on the Morning Show that found that 2.9 million out of 3 million respondents voted in favour of legalising cannabis for medicinal purposes. In a democracy like Australia the law can only function effectively if it reflects the values of society. Louise Haslam said that “civil disobedience shows the laws are out of step”.
For Dan, cannabis provides a better quality of life, allowing him to regain some of his appetite to help his body fight the cancer. However, we soon learnt that medicinal cannabis can go much further then providing better quality of life.
Visit again to read about some of the history of Cannabis prohibition that I learnt about at the Symposium.
Author: A. Choularton. 17th December 2014.